Welcome to the SPARK Writing Festival

SPARK 2023: Put Your Words in the World
July 31st – August 4th

SPARK is a community-based creative writing festival. We welcome writers of all experience and we really love bringing new writers to the table. Have you ever felt that small stirring inside of you like you have some words to share? Then SPARK is where you belong!

There’s two ways to experience SPARK:

Ticketed events:
grab your ticket for a five-day, in person on UAB’s campus experience. One ticket gets you gets you into both our immersive and genre workshops.

Free Community Events: join us online via Zoom to connect with SPARKers all over the nation. These events are fun creative sessions hosted in the evening and designed to bring us together to celebrate writing.

And if you want even more SPARK content, check out our past Community Events on our youtube page.

Ticketed In-Person Workshops

Grab your ticket HERE 

*immersive and genre workshops included with $80 ticket purchase. For those who may find the cost of attendance challenging, we invite you to apply for the Juliana Wu Scholarship*

Immersive Workshops
Each morning we’ll start with an immersive workshop experience that introduces participants to approaching the writing process from a new angle. These workshops will get participants engaging their senses to connect with the world around them.

        • Monday, July 31: Improv Comedy with Chris Davis
        • Tuesday, August 1: Movement + Writing with Brandon Shaw
        • Wednesday, August 2: Nature Writing with Halley Cotton
        • Thursday, August 3: Zine Making Workshop with Halley Cotton
        • Friday, August 4: Scent Workshop with Nellie Beckett

Genre Workshops
Have you really wanted to dig in and commit to your writing? Then the genre workshops are for you. We have 4 in-person workshops hosted on UAB’s campus. Choose one workshop and you’ll get to spend time building community and practicing your writing through 4 days of intentional study. Workshops are held from 10am – Noon, July 31st – August 3rd with a community building reception on the 4th.

        • Fiction with Will Walton
          Two-time novelist (I Felt a Funeral in my Brain and Anything Could Happen), Will Walton will create a space for imagination and exploration for those interested in fiction writing.
        • Poetry with Tina Mozelle Braziel
          Phillip Levine Prize poetry winner and fellow of the Alabama State Council on the Arts, Tina Mozelle Braziel guides participants through the poetic process with prompts and a greater awareness of the world around us.
        • Writing for Young Adults with Randi Pink
          Critically acclaimed and award-winning author, Randi Pink will walk workshoppers through how to construct and shape writing literature for young audiences. Participants will have the chance to meet and talk with an agent on their last workshop day.
        • Memoir with Salaam Green
          Known for her transformative healing work and ability to bring out the depth of others’ writing, Salaam Green is an award-winning artist and writer. Her workshop will help unlock the writer within and guide writers through the process of putting their life stories down on the page.
Monday 7/31 Tuesday 8/1 Wed 8/2 Thurs 8/3 Friday 8/4
Improv Immersive Workshop


Movement Immersive Workshop
Nature Writing Immersive Workshop
Zine Making Immersive Workshop
Scent Immersive Workshop
Genre Workshop


Genre Workshop


Genre Workshop


Genre Workshop


Community Building


Free Community Events

Free and open to everyone. Please register for Zoom link access. The same Zoom link will connect you to all sessions.

All Sessions are hosted at 7pm Central Time

  • Monday, July 31: Journaling through your work in progress with Javacia Harris Bowser
  • Tuesday, August 1: How Alabama The Beautiful Magazine is created with Beth Cowan Drake
  • Wednesday, August 2: Digital Distribution Workshop with Halley Cotton
  • Thursday, August 3: Print Distribution Workshop with Halley Cotton
  • Friday, August 4: Digital Poetry/Story Video Workshop with Halley Cotton